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The perils of cheap divorces

Recent new headlines have highlighted the perils of cheap divorces. Today’s Financial Times runs a story on how people have fallen foul of cheap divorces – even celebrities such as a well known, crisp eating ex-footballer having apparently been caught out by the lure of cheap, quick divorces, many of which are bought on line.

Sally Robinson, Partner in the Family Law Team comments:
“Prospective divorcees should approach using online companies with caution.  In most cases the online companies are not authorised to give legal advice, which means that they are unlikely to be regulated: so the customer does not get the same level of protection that comes with instructing a solicitor’s firm to handle their divorce.  It is likely that they will simply receive the Court forms (which are available for free on the Court Service website in any event), with procedural guidance only.  Such online offerings appear cheaper in the short term, but problems often ensue, which ends up costing the customer more in paying somebody qualified to resolve them.  Most such divorces don’t deal with financial claims, so even though the divorcee may have their Decree Absolute, their former spouse’s financial claims against them may remain open.  There is also no such thing as a ‘quick divorce’ except in exceptional circumstances where, if the potential divorcee has a good reason, they can apply to the Court to expedite the process.  So all in all, for anyone instructing a cheap on-line company they should do it knowing the potential risks that they run.  If a potential divorcee wants actual advice about the divorce process, financial and children issues that is tailored to them, then I would strongly suggest the instruction of a qualified lawyer.”
For advice or assistance please contact Sally Robinson.